March for our lives

So Tamati Coffey and Chloe Swarbrick: two members of the New Zealand Parliament, attended the March for our Lives in Washington DC last weekend. In case you didn’t know, (and I didn’t, although I had vaguely heard about it), the March was to stop gun deaths in schools. On the face of it, it was a good thing, as there are far too many mass shootings in the US, particularly in schools, and something really does need to be done about it.

The trouble is, like marching wearing pussy hats, this type of virtue signalling does absolutely nothing. It may have a feel-good factor, but that is all. And it only provides a feel-good element for those who decide to attend. For the rest of us, it provides nothing at all.

Exactly why two members of the Parliament of New Zealand were there is anyone’s guess. Interfering with the affairs of another sovereign state? Or going on a junket to the US, all expenses paid by the taxpayer of New Zealand? It is either one or the other, and neither is a good look. Aren’t they supposed to be here in New Zealand, sitting in the House, doing the job they are being paid handsomely to do? What exactly are they doing on a march in the USA, all about gun control in schools? And what about the air miles, Chloe Swarbrick? Oh yes, I keep forgetting. It is OK if it is you doing it.

Not everyone was fooled by the virtue signalling that went on though. Maybe there have just been too many marches that have achieved absolutely nothing lately for anyone to take this one seriously.

Never mind that the March offered no concrete plan to make our schools safe. It couldn?t. That would require a focus on the actual schools, their current security set-ups, and asking questions like, ?In the side by side of two school shootings in Florida and Maryland, why were the outcomes so different??

This requires real action, and there is none of this in the average march. Just candles, teddy bears and hugs. But nothing that will keep students safe in the next mass shooting. And there will be a next one, no matter what the #hashtag says.

The money wasted on the spectacle in Washington should have gone to simple ideas like metal detectors, personnel, training and certification for our schools to handle threats as they appear.

Saturday?saved no one, helped no one, and only served to further the false notion that these kids should be doing homework instead of being treated like Nobel nominees.

Has anyone followed up on the idea of arming schools with security personnel? What about training teachers to shoot? I’m not sure that is a great idea, but it is better than going on a march with a candle and a teddy bear. How about we actually do something to make kids safer, instead of a lot of groaning and virtue signalling, which does absolutely nothing?

Lastly, let?s also be done with all the ?moral high ground? positioning.

Hogg reminded everyone?on Saturday?that the hashtag for their cause is #NotOneMore. He then cited 96 gun deaths per day in America (not just of kids but of gun users of all ages.)

The moral dissonance is deafening. The slogan is hypocritical. It?s time to stop manipulating them, allow them to finish their high school experience, and address the real issues.

I am still not sure how taking away guns will fix the FBI, or local police not following up on warnings, child protection services turning a blind eye or family and neighbours closing ranks and saying nothing? Most of these mass shooters leave a trail of warning signs the size of the Pacific Coast Highway, and yet nobody ever sees it coming? That is how to save kids in schools. Not by taking guns away from people who use them responsibly. All that will do is, once again, turn honest people into criminals. And it won’t change the current situation in the slightest.

In the midst of all this, however, David Hogg, student activist, rallied against students being forced to use see-through backpacks because it violates their rights? Even though it might actually save even just one of the student lives he was supposedly trying to protect?

The world really has gone completely mad. Maybe teddy bears really do fix all these problems after all.

Kids shouldn’t be dying in schools. Nobody would argue with that. And the fact that it happens all the time in the US probably does have something to do with their very lax gun laws. But here is the thing. Guns don’t kill people. They don’t load themselves with bullets and take a trip down to the local Junior High. People kill people. They just use guns to do it.